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DDG 92

DML 1/350 USS Momsen DDG 92 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2009 Manufacturer DML
Subject USS Momsen DDG 92 Scale 1/350
Kit Number 1022 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice detailing, easy build, multiple decal options Cons Exhaust ducts are capped
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $49.95

First Look

DDG 92
DDG 92
DDG 92
DDG 92
DDG 92
DDG 92
DDG 92
DDG 92
DDG 92

The USS Momsen is an Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer that is homeported at Naval Station Everett, Washington. This ship is named for Vice Admiral Charles B. 'Swede' Momsen who invented the 'Momsen Lung' which was a rebreathing device that was used to escape from World War submarines in an emergency.

The USS Momsen was commissioned in 2004, powered by four gas turbine engines that can propel the ship above 30 knots. At first glance, it only appears to be armed with a single 5 inch main gun, but the Momsen, like the other members of the Burke-class, are armed with a number of vertical launch cells below deck that can fire the Standard Missile SM-2, Tomahawk cruise missile, and ASROC missiles. The ship is also armed with torpedo tubes.

Fight IIA Burke-class destroyers are distinguishable by their twin hangars to accommodate two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters, improved 5 inch gun, deletion of the towed sonar array, deletion of the Harpoon missile launchers, among other features. With the cancellation of the DDG-1000 program, plans are under consideration to keep the Arleigh Burke class under construction beyond the DDG 112.

It is always interesting to see the gun battle between DML and Trumpeter as far as kit subjects go. Trumpeter released the DDG 82 USS Lassen (Flight IIA) while DML released this DDG 92 USS Momsen. You might think that these should be identical kits, but there are some distinctive differences between those two ships. More on this later.

Like the Trumpeter kit, DML has made this kit modular so that different versions of the Burke-class can be easily released with a few parts changes. One example is the two different flight decks that indicate that the earlier Burke class examples are also on the horizon or already released.

The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on seven parts trees. You can already see this won't be a difficult build! A fret of photo-etched parts are also included to provide railings, phased array antennas, and other details.

The hull is a one-piece affair that will make construction easy but may not appeal to the waterline ship builders. On the other hand, the design of the model is such that a reasonable replica can be rendered with few small parts and by simply passing on the photo-etch. With the photo-etched parts installed, the kit will appeal to more of the AMS ship builders straight out of the box.

So how does this kit differ from the Trumpeter USS Lassen? The Trumpeter kit has quite a few more small parts and represents the earlier Flight IIA configuration. The DML kit represents a later Flight IIA with the new shrouded exhaust stacks to reduce the ship's radar cross-section. Unfortunately, the mold-makers simply capped the top of the ducts rather than represent them with exhaust ducts. When those four gas turbines light off below decks, they won't be able to blow off the exhaust. This should be an easy fix for most modelers.

One counter-intuitive detail on the Momsen the absence of the fore and aft CIWS mounts. I don't know what (if anything) replaces this last line of defense, but you can see from online photos that the ship lacks those guns. The DML kit includes the fore and aft CIWS mounts and the modeler will have to modify the kit accordingly, or be patient as some of the other late Flight IIA Burke-class destroyers that were commissioned without CIWS are getting at least one mount added later on...

Markings are provided for ten examples:

  • USS Winston Churchill DDG 81
  • USS Lassen DDG 82
  • USS Howard DDG 83
  • USS Bulkeley DDG 84
  • USS McCampbell DDG 85
  • USS Mustin DDG 89
  • USS Chafee DDG 90
  • USS Pinckney DDG 91
  • USS Momsen DDG 92
  • USS Chung-Hoon DDG 93

You can't use many of these markings on this kit as many of these ships didn't have the shrouded exhaust ducts. It is easy enough to go online to see the differences in configuration between these various ships. Even so, the markings will be handy if you also happen to have the Trumpeter kit!

This is a beautiful model that is not complex and will give the average modeler some nice results. DML has done a good job in rendering the late-configuration Burkes. If you want to do a quick and easy build, this is just the kit for you. If you're looking for a bit more detail on the decks, you might want to look at the Trumpeter kit.

This kit is definitely recommended!

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